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Old 30.08.2006, 22:05
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RAV registration and benefit payable.

Hello.

I have never had to use RAV here in Switzerland but I hear conflicting info from different sources.

I know if you get terminated from your employment you can claim and register with RAV after you are officially unemployed but if you resign from a company and do not have any further employment, what then.

I have been told that you can still register but you caqnnot do it immediatly but have to wait for 1 month before you can legally register and claim benefit, is this true?

If you are terminated you can claim straight away and recieve about 70% benifit of your last monthly salary or possibly 80% if you are over 50.

Can some clarify this for me. I do not need it yet but who knows.

Regards.
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  #2  
Old 30.08.2006, 22:47
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Re: RAV registration and benefit payable.

Quote:
Hello.

I have never had to use RAV here in Switzerland but I hear conflicting info from different sources.

I know if you get terminated from your employment you can claim and register with RAV after you are officially unemployed but if you resign from a company and do not have any further employment, what then.

I have been told that you can still register but you caqnnot do it immediatly but have to wait for 1 month before you can legally register and claim benefit, is this true?

If you are terminated you can claim straight away and recieve about 70% benifit of your last monthly salary or possibly 80% if you are over 50.

Can some clarify this for me. I do not need it yet but who knows.

Regards.
From what I've been told by people who have experience of claiming RAV (because I've elected to quit my job and have been checking this stuff out myself):

* If you are made redundant, you can claim and receive money from the first working day that you are redundant.

* If you quit, you might (read: will) have to wait up to three months before you get any benefit. You can claim psychological factors at work were making you ill, forcing you to quit and get dole sooner. Though you'd need some medical evidence that work was affecting your mental/physical wellbeing.

* If you get yourself sacked then you might have a wait of up to three months. Depends on circumstance.

* You should however in any circumstance register at your local RAV office no later than first day of unemployment (unless you have a good reason, like illness).

* You get 70% of your salary, up to 70% of 106000CHF.

* If you have a family, that goes up to 80% of 106000CHF.

* You still must pay taxes, health insurance and pension.

* You must attend an interview at the RAV every month, demonstrate that you have been actively seeking work and take such courses that the RAV decree will help you find work (they pay for the course).

* They will also find interviews for you (you must attend and make a genuine effort to get the job) and may even find you temporary, part-time menial jobs related to your profession for you to do (you must do them).



Anyone else feel free to correct me or add info!


Gav
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Old 30.08.2006, 22:55
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Re: RAV registration and benefit payable.

Hi Gav,

That's a very interesting post (have some reputation, my good man!)

I once heard or read that if you find a job that pays less than your previous job, the RAV will award a top-up. Did you hear anything about that?

If so, would this also apply if you can only find part time work?

=DM=
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Old 30.08.2006, 22:59
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Re: RAV registration and benefit payable.

Quote:
Hi Gav,

That's a very interesting post (have some reputation, my good man!)

I once heard or read that if you find a job that pays less than your previous job, the RAV will award a top-up. Did you hear anything about that?

If so, would this also apply if you can only find part time work?

=DM=
I work with a man who is doing exactly that. He was laid off by a large Zurich company a couple of years ago. He's been doing part time and temp work ever since. He's working for the same consulting firm that I am, and is still receiving unemployment money because he's working part time.

Another thing - if you do take a job that makes less than your previous job, RAV may top up for a while, but if you lose that job, remember that your new RAV entitlement would be based on this lower salary.

Also, if you can only find part time work (or temporary), this will extend the length of your benefits. I'm not sure the ratio on that one, though.
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Old 30.08.2006, 23:05
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Re: RAV registration and benefit payable.

Quote:
Hi Gav,

That's a very interesting post (have some reputation, my good man!)

I once heard or read that if you find a job that pays less than your previous job, the RAV will award a top-up. Did you hear anything about that?

If so, would this also apply if you can only find part time work?

=DM=
I've never heard about that - I have heard that you can elect to take a short-term lower-paid job and 'freeze' the benefits. ie. Get yourself a job as a lifeguard at a Freibad over the summer and you can go back onto the RAV at your old rate with your remaining allowance of 'work weeks' after the job ends.

Also, they don't pressurise you to take just any old job to get you off the dole. If you are in banking you can look only for banking jobs if that's what you want and so on.

There is also an acceptable salary band for your line of work, given your experience and qualifications. You don't have to take a job if it drastically falls out of that band.


I should add that the RAV is payable for up to 18 months, it's given out in chunks of work weeks but 18 months is what it works out as. You have to work and pay social security for 12 months to top it back up. Don't know what happens if your new job doesn't last 12 months though - you probably get a percentage of 18 months more payment entitlement.

And you get four weeks 'holiday' per year when you don't have to seek work. One week per three months of unemployment.

Oh yeah, and important for foreigners: You are entitled to stay in Switzerland for as long as your RAV allowance lasts, even if your permit runs out during that time. You will get a short term permit that allows you to stay and get your entitlement.


All in all, you needn't fear unemployment here. Except for the scorn of right thinking Swiss folk, of course.

Gav
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Old 30.08.2006, 23:32
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Re: RAV registration and benefit payable.

I've just spent some time claiming from RAV so can give you some thoughts on my experience.
Firstly, Swiss people don't understand qualifications that aren't Swiss, it's worth triple checking what they register you as (and then triple checking again to be on the safe side). Example of this: I have a degree and was seeking work in my field, I had also been living on a farm and running a business there, this meant that my last pension (AHV) payments were farm related and I have no qualifications to be a farmer.....which meant that I was labelled "unqualified farm labourer", took me months to find that out and get re-registered.
RAV doesn't pay out any money, your Arbeitslosenkasse do that either through your branch of work or through the Kanton. RAV are a job agency, nothing else. You meet with your RAV person once a month and they pass on possible jobs, check you've made enough effort (minimum of 8 applications/month)...if they are happy with you, the Kasse pays up, if not, you don't get any money. Being very good friends with your RAV BeraterIn is a VERY good idea!!
There are tonnes of paperwork involved in claiming dole here, it's pretty annoying but as you get lots of money at the end of it, it is worth it....just make sure you fill it in right, slight mistakes are not accepted!
When filling in the RAV forms to show your monthly efforts to get a job, write in loads of jobs in very illegible writing, they won't want to discuss it then
RAV can pass you on to various courses, I did one about how to write an application letter, how to do a CV etc to Swiss standards. It's significantly different to what I learnt in the UK, so was well worth it.
Through RAV I also got a internship organised for 6 months, which lead to me getting employed in that NGO at the end of the 6 months. The paperwork involved in the 6 months was crippling but as I got what can almost be described as my dream job at the end of it, it was well worth it!
How good your experience with RAV is hangs very much on the competance and politics of the RAV branch you go to, they all seem different. Also the confidence that you walk in with. If you go in with the attitude "I want a job, help me get one, I know I'm good enough to get the job I want" then you'll get help and a good experience. If you go in as a foreigner (and, god help you, a woman) with a "can't be arsed" attitude you'll just meet Mr and Mrs Swiss at their racist/sexist worst.

All in all, I can say that it was a positive, if slightly annoying, experience for me to claim unemployment money in CH....very different from my brief spell as unemployed in the UK 15 years ago...in the end I lied and said I had a job and then moved, just so I didn't have to go anymore!

Hope that that is of some use to someone,
Elli
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Old 31.08.2006, 09:54
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Re: RAV registration and benefit payable.

Lots of good points here, so I won't spew it all back to you...just highlight a few things others have said:

* it is important to be on good terms with your RAV councilor. a good relationship can mean short, pleasant appointments every 7-8 weeks. A bad relationship can be hellish, hostile meetings once every week or two.
* there is a lot of paperwork, regulations and obligations...become an expert at what is what. getting it wrong will delay or jeopardize your benefits. It is a lot of money to mess up over something stupid.
* the holiday thing is great. use them or lose them...they don't pay unpaid hols.

and finally my own bit:
* unless you have really good german i would suggest playing dumb on your language skills and trying to go english. (long story on why.)
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Old 31.08.2006, 10:42
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Re: RAV registration and benefit payable.

Just want to correct three inaccuracies on the otherwise comprehensive answers:

1. There is a five day wait period before being able to claim benefit so you are not entitled to it immediately irrespective of circumstance - exception being if the RAV puts you on a short term assignment with a known end date.

2. Taking a lower salary role will only make an impact on your allowance if you are around or below the 106K max or if the low salary role is for a prolonged period of time. The amount given is calculated based on the average over a two year time period - although they ask for the last three years...

3. The Allowance is paid out in days and these days are over a two year period. That means if you use all your days and then go to work you still have to work long enough to nulify the days you used otherwise next time you are unemployed you get less time at it.

Any specific questions should be asked I guess there are enough in this forum, being non-Swiss, who are very familiar with the RAV rules
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Old 31.08.2006, 11:07
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Re: RAV registration and benefit payable.

Quote:
Just want to correct three inaccuracies on the otherwise comprehensive answers:

2. Taking a lower salary role will only make an impact on your allowance if you are around or below the 106K max or if the low salary role is for a prolonged period of time. The amount given is calculated based on the average over a two year time period - although they ask for the last three years...
Maybe I have misunderstood what you've said here. My understanding of your comment is that RAV will base your payout on the average of a two (or three) year time period of work.

If I didn't misunderstand, then you're wrong (and if I did misunderstand, my apologies! ):

From the RAV website

Als Basis für die Auszahlung gilt der sogenannte versicherte Verdienst. Dieser wird von der Arbeitslosenkasse normalerweise aufgrund der Einkommen der letzten 6 Monate festgesetzt.

In other words, they base your RAV payments on the last six months you've worked.
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Old 12.10.2006, 19:39
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Re: RAV registration and benefit payable.

Can anyone tell me how long you need to have been employed before you can register and claim anything? I was working for a company in Zürich, unfortunately the company lost a huge contract and 3 of us were made redundant after 6 months.
I would be grateful for any advice.

Thanks
Swissfi
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Old 12.10.2006, 19:56
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Re: RAV registration and benefit payable.

Hi Swissfi

How long have you been in Switzerland?
I think it depends upon whether you have been working previously for longer and on your working permit status. But assuming you have been working before this contract for longer than one year, then as this termination was not your fault then you should be entitled to register straight away.

If you have not worked in Switzerland for at least one year full time, then it may be that you are not entitled to anything or be allowed to register.

I believe it depends upon your residential status and period in Swiss.

Sorry cant be more specific, perhaps someone else knows better.

Ciao
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Old 12.10.2006, 19:57
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Re: RAV registration and benefit payable.

Hey Swissfi, sorry to hear about your circumstances... maybe we should form a club.

To qualify for 75% or so of your salary I believe you have to have worked full-time for at least a year. I *think* this includes any other employment you've had before the current position. Part-timers or those who've worked less than a year may have it tougher, but may qualify for various insurance contributions etc. However, the RAV will be happy to furnish you with the info. Just get everything on paper - they're not known for their 'on-message' communications...
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Old 12.10.2006, 20:08
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Re: RAV registration and benefit payable.

Thanks Catwoman and Uncle Max for the info. It was my first job here so I guess that I dont qualify which is a real bummer as I would like to do some retraining. I am a permit B holder and here because of my husband. I shall have a look at the RAV site
Thanks again
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Old 12.10.2006, 20:14
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Re: RAV registration and benefit payable.

Just go to the RAV, it'll take a while to digest the info and they will help you. It takes ages to get the ball rolling, so I suggest you gather all your papers and head down there. They're quite friendly, many speak English. Good Luck!
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Old 13.10.2006, 01:18
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Re: RAV registration and benefit payable.

Hello Catwoman and Swissfi,

I am really sorry to hear about your situation.... the good news is that it seems to be a good moment to look for a job...

Maybe you know about this site already, but in any case here it goes:

http://www.treffpunkt-arbeit.ch/arbe...rste_schritte/

It has very comprehensive information about being unemployed and what to do, where to go, samples of what you have to fill... Only in German, French and Italian. However, the RAV can give you english translations of some documents.

If i remember correctly, you need to have worked 2 years is Switzerland to be entitled to collect benefits (i am not 100% sure about this, though). However, if you have worked abroad, you might add this time to you Swiss time. That depends on where you worked before and if that country has an agreement with Switzerland. Again, the best way is to check with the RAV. The maximum you may get is 400 working days, which is more or less 18 months.

What is also very imporant is to show that you have been actively looking for a job. Just keep copies of your applications, letters you get from potential employers, rejection letters.... You should start looking as soon as you will be leaving the company. If you were made redundant, your employer has to give you time to look for a job and attend interviews. Typically, a couple of afternoons in a week is considered reasonable.

Considering that there is a lot of paper work to register with the RAV, i would recommend to start a good 3 weeks before your last day of work the latest. It is really a lot of things to put together and a lot of information to digest. You can register no latter than your first day of unemployement. Otherwise, you might get some penalty unless you provide a good explanation.

As Uncle Max said, the RAV people are very helpfull and most times try to work out the best solution for you. The trick is to show genuine interest in getting a job and putting a lot of effort into it. It also helps a lot to thank them and show your gratitude (e.g. whenever you are sent to a course, tell later your counselour how much it had helped you and that you have learnt a lot).

Another thing you might want to do right now is ask for your reference letter. You will need to apply for jobs. The whole process is not as straightforward as it seems. You have a whole thread covering it:

I think I am about to lose my job...

Hope this helps,

Best of luck,

Luci
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Old 13.10.2006, 09:38
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Re: RAV registration and benefit payable.

Quote:
Maybe I have misunderstood what you've said here. My understanding of your comment is that RAV will base your payout on the average of a two (or three) year time period of work.

If I didn't misunderstand, then you're wrong (and if I did misunderstand, my apologies! ):

From the RAV website

Als Basis für die Auszahlung gilt der sogenannte versicherte Verdienst. Dieser wird von der Arbeitslosenkasse normalerweise aufgrund der Einkommen der letzten 6 Monate festgesetzt.

In other words, they base your RAV payments on the last six months you've worked.
Actually niether is the case. I did not provide sufficient information and here the RAV website is wrong. In order to qualify you need to have made 12 contributions over the past 2 years. IF you receive a constant salary that is based on x per month without any annual bonus then you will indeed receive a salary based on the last 6 months IF you have made 12 contributions within the last 2 years - ie been employed for 12 months in a two year period. However many people do not receive such a salary. Take the case of a sales rep who earns 5K per month with an annual bonus. Here his salary will show up on their scale as 5K if the annual bonus is not involved. Hence for people with varying salary they actually look at a constant 12 month average within a 2 year period, hence their asking for more than the last 6 months... Furthermore there is no obligation to register immediately. Taking the RAV example there is ie if you waited 6 months but were earning 240K per year it would make no odds you would still get the maximum despite having an income in the last 6 months of 0!

Is that better said
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Old 13.10.2006, 11:10
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Re: RAV registration and benefit payable.

Quote:
Actually niether is the case. I did not provide sufficient information and here the RAV website is wrong. In order to qualify you need to have made 12 contributions over the past 2 years. IF you receive a constant salary that is based on x per month without any annual bonus then you will indeed receive a salary based on the last 6 months IF you have made 12 contributions within the last 2 years - ie been employed for 12 months in a two year period. However many people do not receive such a salary. Take the case of a sales rep who earns 5K per month with an annual bonus. Here his salary will show up on their scale as 5K if the annual bonus is not involved. Hence for people with varying salary they actually look at a constant 12 month average within a 2 year period, hence their asking for more than the last 6 months... Furthermore there is no obligation to register immediately. Taking the RAV example there is ie if you waited 6 months but were earning 240K per year it would make no odds you would still get the maximum despite having an income in the last 6 months of 0!

Is that better said
Ah ha! I don't think I've ever seen that anywhere from RAV - and I've looked as I'm a consultant with a varying salary every month.

Thanks for the explanation!
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Old 13.10.2006, 11:43
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Re: RAV registration and benefit payable.

Quote:
Ah ha! I don't think I've ever seen that anywhere from RAV - and I've looked as I'm a consultant with a varying salary every month.

Thanks for the explanation!
You may well be right. I think I have said this elsewhere but the RAV are an employment agency - an official one granted but still only an agency, like Elan, Manpower, Ajilon etc.

The deciding factors with respect to the money you receive are actually written in law and the interpretation of this law is made by the buro responsible for making the payments (Kasse) who alone is responsible for determining whether you qualify and if you do, how much you will get. They also have an appeal procedure if you are not happy and again this falls under the swiss law. Furthermore when they make a decision they quote the law at you so you can look it up.

Last edited by Richard; 16.10.2006 at 23:35.
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Old 13.10.2006, 12:23
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Re: RAV registration and benefit payable.

Quote:
You may well be right. I think I have said this elsewhere but the RAV are an employment agency - an official one granted but still only an agency, like Elan, Manpower, Ajilon etc.

The deciding factors with respect to the money you receive are actually written in law and the interpretation of this law is made by the Kasse who alone is responsible for determining whether you qualify and if you do, how much you will get. They also have an appeal procedure if you are not happy and again this falls under the swiss law. Furthermore when they make a decision they quote the law at you so you can look it up.
Thank you for the info, it is appreciated.

It seems that with financial things, nothing is straightforward, answers are final, mistakes are always on the side of the government, not the person. *sigh* (Like my husband's military tax bill, where they assumed he made 50k more than he did one year and charged him accordingly - and refused to change it despite proof that he didn't make 50k more that year.)
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Old 14.10.2006, 01:22
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Re: RAV registration and benefit payable.

Quote:
Thank you for the info, it is appreciated.

It seems that with financial things, nothing is straightforward, answers are final, mistakes are always on the side of the government, not the person. *sigh* (Like my husband's military tax bill, where they assumed he made 50k more than he did one year and charged him accordingly - and refused to change it despite proof that he didn't make 50k more that year.)
To be entirely frank this is something that really frustrates me. Why has the government the right to ignore their own regulations ie the Swiss OR when it suits. Be aware that the government can come at you for outstanding payments for up to ten years as can any other body. But the government is free of any debts after 3 months - okay not always but that is not the point. Why can they have their cake and eat it
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